This recipe takes a little extra time compared to my other recipes, but it is definitely worth it. If you are in a hurry, feel free to purchase the bread bowls or skip them and just serve the chowder alongside some bread or breadsticks.
Yield: Serves 9
Prep time: 1 hr. + 7 hrs. in slow cooker
Last minute prep + cook time: 35 minutes
- Want to kick up the clam taste? You can add 2 T clam base or replace half the broth with clam juice.
- If you are in a hurry, you can skip sautéing the onions and potatoes in the bacon grease.
- 26 oz. canned clams
- 1 lg. yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 8 yellow potatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 lb. bacon
Sourdough Bread bowls:
- 450 g sourdough starter
- 1275 g bread flour (all-purpose is fine)
- 30 g salt
Pull out same day:
- 2 stalks celery (1 cup frozen diced)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 cups cream
- 2 cups milk
- 5 tsp. cornstarch
Bread bowl prep 24 hrs. prior
- If making bread bowls they need to be started 24 hours prior to baking. I recommend starting the morning prior to the day you plan to serve them.
- To a large bowl add the starter and 1275 g warm water. Whisk until well combined.
- Add the flour. Mix together first with a dough hook or wooden spoon. Then, knead by hand 5-7 minutes.
- Cover with a wet towel or plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle the salt over the dough. Mix in with a series of “stretch and folds” for about 4 minutes. Recover and let rest 30 minutes.
- Do 10 rounds of stretch and folds with the dough still in the bowl. Recover and let rest 30 minutes.
- Repeat the above process 3 more times. The last two times, finish by picking up the dough ball and forming it into a tight ball, tightening the top and pinching it together at the bottom. Place back in the bowl. Cover and let rest 30 minutes as usual.
- Repeat the process one more time (lifting and forming into a ball as well). This time, let the dough sit, covered, until doubled.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or an airtight lid and refrigerate overnight.
Same-Day Prep Directions
- Remove the dough from the fridge and dump onto a lightly floured surface.
- Break into 9 equal parts. Cover with a towel and let rest 60 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, prepare the clam chowder
- Cook bacon in a skillet until done. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Peel and chop onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Add both to skillet and saute until softened.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove onions and garlic and transfer to slow cooker.
- Peel and chop the potatoes. Add to the skillet and saute for a few minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to slow cooker.
- Crumble the bacon.
- Add the clams, celery, salt, pepper, thyme, broth, and the bacon. Cook on “low” for 7 hours.
- Grease 9 bowls (soup bowls work great) with olive oil.
- Shape dough into balls and place one in each bowl. Cover with towels or lightly with plastic wrap (it needs to rise) and let rise 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Fill a dark pan with water and place on the bottom oven rack to create steam.
- Carefully transfer the boules from the bowls to two parchment paper-lined baking sheets (phew – say that three time fast!). Score an x in the top of each.
- Bake the bread bowls for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Let cool completely.
- Wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap or place them in a sealed container until ready to use.
35 MINUTES BEFORE YOU PLAN TO SERVE DINNER
- To a small bowl add cream, milk, and cornstarch. Whisk well. Add to slow cooker and stir to combine. Turn to “high” setting and let cook 30 minutes more.
- Prep bread bowls by popping in a 350 F oven for a few minutes to warm. Cut out a hole and remove inside piece of bread.
- Serve chowder in bread bowls with bread pieces on the side.